The aim of the Association is to provide a platform for an exchange of views between colleges and a channel of communication between the colleges jointly and the various national bodies involved in the training and certification process. The Association is on the consultation list of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) of the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, the UK regulatory body for marine matters, and its members are frequently in touch regarding both day to day practicalities and future developments.
We are represented on the Technical Committee of the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), which is the body primarily responsible for the co-ordination of Merchant Navy training in the UK, and work closely together with the industy and the MCA though that mechanism and through various working parties and sub-committees to agree standards and develop provision. Additionally the Annual General Meeting is held in May each year and is combined with an Annual Conference at which colleges meet to discuss marine education and training issues with each other and with representatives of MNTB and MCA.
Without a doubt the major area of activity over recent years has been the development of new routes to Certification based on the occupational requirements of the industry and STCW 95. The Association and its members have worked together with MNTB, MCA and industry over many years to develop and maintain Occupational Standards and to devise schemes of training for entrants at a variety of levels to meet the needs of different sectors of the industry.
Revised competence based qualifications have been devised and accredited to guide and measure on board development. Higher Education Diplomas and Degree courses have been developed to deliver and accredit the required underpinning knowledge as well as appropriate mechanisms to enable those partially qualified within or outside of the industry to meet the necessary standards. The Association also participated in the formulation of the standard, published by MNTB on behalf of MCA, for statutory short courses to meet STCW 95 requirements.
Member Colleges have a wealth of experience in marine education, well committed and well qualified staff and an excellent range of modern facilities for simulation and practical training. They pride themselves on maintaining the highest standards of teaching and of integrity, particularly in relation to assessment, and in responding to the needs of the marine industry at large, specific shipping companies and the individual mariner.